6 options for hemming

How to Hem – 6 Different Options

How to hem – 6 different options

Here are six different ways to hem, whether it’s pants, skirts, dresses, prom dresses, wedding dresses or jeans.   The how to hem with 6 different options depends on what look you are going for and what fabric it’s made of.  

First of all, you want to mark your hem.  You can use a chalk marker or straight pins.  Have your client or yourself try the garment on wearing the shoes they will wear with that particular garment.  Mark the finished edge of where the hem will need to go!  

Supplies for how to hem:

Sewing Machines:

Brother Sewing Machine


Singer Sewing Machine


Brother Embroidery & Sewing Machine





Your choice of garment



Rotary Mat


Rotary Cutter


Quilting Ruler




Sewing gauge


Needle and thread (optional)

Chalk marker


Straight pins


Point turner          aka                  hump jumper lol

https://amzn.to/3QYedfn           https://amzn.to/3wiTdaE

If you are a visual learner – watch YouTube video here:

Next and most importantly, decide which option you will use so you know how much length to add before you cut off the excess.  I generally try to put the same hem in that was on the garment.  For example, if it had a rolled hem, I also put a rolled hem back in.  Or if it was blind stitched, I use that method.

Option One:

Good for girls dresses or sleeves.

Straight stitch – narrow hem – Add 1/2” to finished length.

Press up 1/4”.  Press up another 1/4”.  Pin it or just use your fingers if it has a good press.

How to Hem Narrow Hem

Sew a straight stitch with 2.5 stitch length 1/8” from folded up hem.  The thread in your bobbin needs to match the fabric.

How to hem narrow hem

Narrow hem

Option Two:

Hand sewing.  Best option if you don’t have a sewing machine.

Add 1 1/4” to finished edge you marked.

Press up 1/4”.  Press up another one inch.  Pin it in place.

Hand stitched hem

To hand stitch.  Tie a knot in the end of your thread.  Take a stitch out of the fold.  Next, Take one thread stitch in the garment and come up in the fold.  Go about 1/4” on average and take another thread from the garment and come up in the fold.  Just continue hemming this way until you are all the way around.  This is a slip stitch.

Hand stitched hem

Hand stitched hem

Hand stitched hem

Optionally, you can make a blind stitch hem by hand.  Tie a knot in the end of your thread.  Take a stitch out of the fold.  After that, take one thread stitch in the garment then go 1/4” into the fold of the turned up hem.  Take another bite from the garment and go through the fold.  Continue that around the garment.

Hand stitched hem

Option Three:

Hemming jeans.

First off, always use a denim/jean needle when sewing on denim.  To get the same look, use a gold thread.  The bobbin thread is what will show, so use gold in the bobbin.

Add one inch to the finished mark. Press up 1/2” and another 1/2”.  Pin your folded up hem.

Jean hem

Sew a straight stitch 1/8” from fold on the folded up hem.

Jean hem

If and when you have to sew over a bulky seam, use a point turner or a hump jumper with a notch in it to help go over that bulk.

Point turner on hem

Put it under the presser foot in the back and sew, being mindful not to sew into the plastic.  Sew a few stitches, raise your presser foot and move the point turner or hump jumper along to keep the presser foot level with the seam.  Move around to the front of the presser foot and take a few more stitches until you are over the seam, remove, and continue sewing.

Option Four of How to Hem-6 different options:

Blind stitch hem!  Add 1 3/4” to finished mark.  Cut off excess.  Works great for dress pants, skirts, and dresses. 

You need a presser foot that is made for blind stitching.  There are different options for different machines.  Find your machine and see which one fits.

The blind stitch setting makes about 4 straight stitches, then a zig zag stitch which is what catches the turned up hem.  Pick this stitch on your machine.

Blind stitch hem

Fold up 1/2”, press.  Fold another 1 1/4” and press that. 

blind stitch hem

From inside the garment, fold back the hem leaving about 3/8” seam.  You will sew on that from the inside.  Check to see how much of a bite the zig zag is taking and adjust by narrowing the stitch width or turn the little wheel on the presser foot to adjust where your material runs through.  Play with both settings until you have it taking only a small bite of the folded edge. 

Blind stitch hem

This is much easier to see in the YouTube video.  It is at 12:40 time stamp in the video.  This method has a very professional look.

Blind stitch hem

Blind stitch hem

Press finished hem.

Option Five:

Rolled Hem.  Add 1/2” extra from finished length.  Set up your serger for a rolled hem.  Check your manual to see how to set it up.  I have a video about this here:

This works great on chiffon for prom or wedding dresses.  Also, works great on cotton, especially on the hem of ruffles.  Looks good on knit also, especially for a lettuce hem on knit.

Rolled hem on chiffon 

Run through your machine, cutting off the excess of about 1/4”.  Sew all the way around, going over your original start.  Serge off of the edge and cut threads.

Rolled hem on chiffon

Rolled hem on chiffon

Rolled hem on cotton

For a lettuce edge on knit fabric, stretch the front of the knit while the rolled hem is being sewn.

Rolled hem on knit

Rolled hem lettuce edge on knit

Option Six:

Cover stitch.  Add 5/8” to marked edge of hem.  

Press up 5/8” on edge.  You need a Cover Stitch Machine for this method.  It works great on knit material.  This is the stitch used on all t-shirts on the bottom hem or the sleeve hem.  It is a beautiful stitch.

The machine uses 3 cones of thread.  Has two needle straight stitches and one chain looper stitch.  See your machine on how to thread it and set it up.

You will sew from the right side of the fabric.  Check the mark to guide your fabric through so that the left needle is even with the turned up edge of hem. Put the wrong side up only to mark where to guide your fabric. Then…

Cover stitch on knit 

Then sew from the right side.

Cover stitch on knit

End your stitching on the top of the beginning stitches, using the marks on the presser foot (where the needles are) to sew over your starting stitches.

Cover stitch on knitCover stitch on knit t-shirt hemAbove is top side.

Below is the underside.

Cover stitch on knit

Disengage the threads by pulling the hand wheel toward you until the needles are all the way down.  Raise the presser foot and turn the hand wheel away from you until the needles are in their highest position.  Pull the threads away from the needle threads and pull the material out to cut the threads.  Tie a knot in the chain stitches underneath. (The beginning and the ending threads.)

In conclusion for how to hem-6 different options, choose the hem option that you want to put in your garment,  mark the finished hem line.  Add the amount you need for that hem, and go to town, sewing!!!

Thanks for reading and good luck!!!!

Frosted Saddle with Crystal Murdock

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